Benefits of the artificial disc: PROS & CONS

  • Retains motion of the vertebrae.
  • Prevents damage to other levels.
  • No bone graft required.
  • Quicker recovery.
  • Less painful surgery than a fusion.
  • Less blood loss during surgery.

Spine surgeons may be cautious about artificial discs because:

  • Wear and tear on artificial disc can require revision surgery in 10 to 20 years which can be complex.
  • Disc implants only address rotational forces, not the up and down shock absorbing of the natural disc.
  • Overweight people can wear out a lumbar disc prematurely.
  • Newer artificial discs are in development that may be better.